(1) S'rî S'uka said: 'Let me now describe the dimensions, characteristics and form of the divisions of Plaksha and the others dvîpas that are called varshas [or lands, see 5.1: 32]. (2) The way Mount Meru is surrounded by the dvîpa of Jambû, that dvîpa on its turn is [as seen from the inside] surrounded by a salty ocean that is just as wide. That ocean is surrounded, like a moat by a park, by the dvîpa of Plaksha which stretches out twice as much. It was named after the plaksha tree that is as tall as a jambû but twice as wide. At the root of that tree which rises magnificently splendorous, there is a fire that counts seven flames. The master of that dvîpa is the son of Priyavrata named Idhmajihva. When he retired for the yoga of self-realization he divided the dvîpa into seven varshas that he named after his seven sons. (3-4) S'iva, Yavasa, Subhadra, S'ânta, Kshema, Amrita and Abhaya, are thus the varshas. They have seven rivers and mountains. The seven mountain ranges marking the varshas are known as Manikûtha, Vajrakûtha, Indrasena, Jyotishmân, Suparna, Hiranyashthhîva and Meghamâla. The main rivers are the Arunâ, Nrimnâ, Ângirasî, Sâvitrî, Suptabhâtâ, Ritambharâ and the Satyambharâ. Touching their water washes away the passion and darkness of the four types of men whom one there [according to their vocations] calls the Hamsas, Patangas, Ûrdhvâyanas and Satyângas [the swanlike ones, the rulers, the ambitious ones and the faithful ones]. For a thousand years they live there like gods with most beautiful bodies, having children and performing Vedic rituals at the gate to heaven. They worship the Supreme Lord, the Supersoul in the form of the sun god the way it is prescribed in the holy scriptures praying: (5) 'Let us take to the shelter of Sûrya, the god of the sun who is a manifestation of Lord Vishnu, the authentic Soul of the truth of righteousness, of Brahman and of eternal life and death.'
(6) In Plaksha and the other four dvîpas the people are without exception born with the perfections of a long life, good sense, bodily and mental fortitude, physical power, intelligence and bravery. (7) Surrounded by an ocean of sugarcane juice equally wide, there is beyond Plakshadvîpa another dvîpa called S'âlmala which is twice as big and surrounded by an ocean of liquor [or wine; surâ*]. (8) That dvîpa received its name from a s'âlmalî tree as big as the plaksha tree and in that tree, so one says, Garuda the carrier bird of Vedic prayers unto Lord Vishnu, has his residence. (9) The son of Priyavrata called Yajñabâhu is the master of that dvîpa. He divided it into seven varshas according to the seven names of his sons: Surocana, Saumanasya, Ramanaka, Deva-varsha, Pâribhadra, Âpyâyana and Avijñâta. (10) The seven mountains there are known by the names of Svarasa, S'atas'ringa, Vâmadeva, Kunda, Mukunda, Pushpa-varsha and the Sahasra-s'ruti. The seven rivers are the Anumati, Sinîvâlî, Sarasvatî, Kuhû, Rajanî, Nandâ and Râkâ. (11) The people living in those varshas are known as the S'rutadharas, Vîryadharas, Vasundharas and Ishandharas [those who listen, are heroic, are wealthy and are obedient]. Fully conversant with the Vedic knowledge they worship the Supreme Lord in the form of Soma-âtmâ ['the true self of the sacrificial beverage' or the moon god]: (12) 'With his effulgence he divides the time in the light and dark period of the month [s'ukla and krishna]. May he, that divinity of the moon and the grain to be distributed to the forefathers and the gods, may that king of all people, remain favorably disposed unto us.'
(13) Next there is outside of that ocean the dvîpa called Kus'a which, like the dvîpa mentioned before, is twice as big and surrounded by an ocean of ghee that is equally wide. The kus'a grass created by God gave that dvîpa its name because all directions are illumined by the effulgence of the young sprouting grass that glows like another kind of fire. (14) The son of Mahârâja Priyavrata called Hiranyaretâ o King divided as the master of that island, when he retired for his penance, his dvîpa among his seven sons with the names of Vasu, Vasudâna, Dridharuci, Nâbhigupta, Stutyavrata, Vivikta and Vâmadeva. (15) The seven mountain ranges of these varshas are the Cakra, Catuhs'ringa, Kapila, Citrakûtha, Devânîka, Ûrdhvaromâ and Dravina mountains and the rivers are the Ramakulyâ, Madhukulyâ, Mitravindâ, Srutavindâ, Devagarbhâ, Ghritacyutâ and Mantramâlâ. (16) At those waters the inhabitants of Kus'advîpa who are named the Kus'alas, Kovidas, Abhiyuktas and Kulakas [or the grass sitters, the experienced ones, the competitors and the artisans] skilled in the rituals worship the Supreme Lord in the form of the fire god called Jâtaveda ['he who awards the wages']: (17) 'Of all the demigods of the Supreme Brahman who constitute the limbs of the Original Person, you o god of the fire, are the one who personally carries the offerings of ghee and grains [to the Lord]. [Please accept] therefore our sacrifice for the Supreme Personality of Godhead.'
(18) Just as Kus'advîpa is surrounded by an ocean of ghee, Krauñcadvîpa outside of it and being twice as big, is surrounded by an ocean of milk [or plant juice] of the same size. The king of the mountains named Krauñca situated there gave that dvîpa its name. (19) Even though Guha [the son of S'iva, Kârttikeya] destroyed the vegetation there with his weapons, he [the mountain] stands unafraid because he constantly bathes in the ocean of milk and enjoys the protection of the mighty Varuna [the demigod of the seas]. (20) Ghritaprishthha, the son of Mahârâja Priyavrata, the ruler of that dvîpa gave its seven sections, its varshas, the names of his sons whom he, all just as powerful as he was, appointed as their rulers. He thereafter resorted to the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord Hari, the Soul of all souls whose glories are so auspicious. (21) Âma, Madhuruha, Meghaprishthha, Sudhâmâ, Bhrâjishthha, Lohitârna and Vanaspati were the sons of Ghritaprishthha and the seven mountain ranges were celebrated as the S'ukla and Vardhamâna, Bhojana, Upabarhina, Nanda, Nandana and Sarvatobhadra mountains. The seven rivers were the Abhayâ, Amritaughâ, Âryakâ, Tîrthavatî, Rûpavatî, Pavitravatî and the S'uklâ. (22) Sanctified by bathing in the pellucid waters of all those rivers the inhabitants of those varshas who are called the Purushas, the Rishabas, the Dravinas and the Devakas [or the authentic, the superior, the wealthy and the sporting ones], worship with folded hands filled with water [the Lord in the form of Varuna] the deity of water: (23) 'O water, o might of the Original Personality, you sanctify the earth, its life, its paradise. May our touching this water, that because of its nature destroys the spirit of evil, purify our bodies.'
(24) Beyond the ocean of milk the dvîpa of S'âka is situated measuring a 3.2 million yojanas wide. It is surrounded by an ocean of whey of the same width and owes its name to a most fragrant fig tree that can be smelled all over the dvîpa. (25) Another son of Priyavrata named Medhâtithi is the ruler there. He also divided his dvîpa in seven varshas with the names of his seven sons Purojava, Manojava, Pavamâna, Dhûmrânîka, Citrarepha, Bahurûpa and Vis'vadhâra whom he appointed there as their rulers. He thereafter entered the forest for penance with his mind absorbed in the infinity of the Supreme Lord. (26) The seven mountains forming the borders of the varshas are the Îs'âna, Urus'ringa, Balabhadra, S'atakesara, Sahasra-srota, Devapâla and Mahânasa mountains and the seven rivers there are the Anaghâ, Âyurdâ, Ubhayasprishthi, Aparâjitâ, Pañcapadî, Sahasra-s'ruti and the Nijadhriti. (27) The people of those varshas, the Ritavratas, the Satyavratas, the Dânavratas and the Anuvratas [the varnas of the God-fearing ones, the ones vowed to the truth, the providers, and the followers] cleanse themselves of their passions and ignorance with the practice of regulating their breath which is ruled by the demigod Vâyu. They absorbed in transcendence worship him as the representative of the Supreme Personality with: (28) 'You entering all living beings are the one Supersoul within, the direct controller who maintains by the functions of the inner airs. Please direct us, for you control the entire cosmos.'
(29) Also beyond this ocean of whey there is another dvîpa named Pushkara which is twice as big as the previous one and surrounded by an ocean of sweet water of the same size. There a very big lotus flower is found with 100 million flower petals of pure gold that are like the flames of a blazing fire. This lotus is considered the sitting place of the all-powerful Lord of the Lotus [Brahmâ]. (30) That dvîpa has one mountain range named Mânasottara that separates the varshas on the inner and the outer side. Measuring a 10.000 yojanas high and wide, it harbors in its four directions the cities of the four demigods ruling there [Indra, Yama, Varuna and Soma]. The chariot of the sun god Sûrya, circumambulating mount Meru on its highest point, moves around in an orbit that calculated in terms of the days and nights of the demigods [**] consists of one complete year. (31) The ruler of that dvîpa, also a son of Priyavrata with the name Vîtihotra, named the two varshas there after his two sons Ramanaka and Dhâtaki and appointed them as their rulers when he, just as his other brothers did, restricted himself to virtuous activities to satisfy the Supreme Lord. (32) The people of those lands worship for the fulfillment of their desires with ritualistic activities the Supreme Lord in the form of Lord Brahmâ and pray the following: (33) 'Someone of a firm conviction must free from duplicity and peacefully, by consciously dealing with the illusion [with the help of ritualistic activities] worship the Supreme Personality in the form of him [Lord Brahmâ] who discloses the supreme Brahman. That almighty Lord we offer our obeisances.'
(34) Beyond that realm there is [outside of the ocean of sweet water] all around a formation named Lokâloka which is described as the boundary between the world of light and the world without light. (35) The realm [called Loka-varsha within that border] is as wide as the area between mount Meru and the Mânasottara range, [and changes outside into] another domain made of gold [called Aloka-varsha, the dark region] which is as smooth as a mirror. Anything dropped there can impossibly be retrieved and therefore the place is avoided by all living entities. (36) The formation Lokâloka [that is the outer shell of the universe] is situated in between the lands that one speaks of as being inhabited and not inhabited. (37) That outer limit of the three worlds that was created all around by the Lord, is that far distant that it for the rays of all the luminaries - from the sun up to those of Dhruva's goal of liberation [the center of the universe, see 4.12: 12] -, is not possible to reach further. (38) The scholars who investigated the positions, characteristics and situations of all the worlds [the planets and stars], calculated that the area between the centre and the outer Lokâloka limit of the universe covers as much as half a billion yojanas, one quarter [of the size or total energy] of the celestial globe.
(39) By the source of the self who is the spiritual teacher of the entire universe [Brahmâ] the four gaja-patis ['the best of all elephants'] Rishabha, Pushkaracûda, Vâmana and Aparâjit are established in the four directions on top of that [formation], in order to take care of the stability of the different planets in the universe. (40) He [Lord Vishnu] is of all His locally ruling, personal divinities [His 'elephants'] and all the types of heroes who are expansions of His potency, the Supreme Lord, the foremost and greatest personality, the great master of all powers, the Soul of all souls and the True Self of the purest goodness characterized by religion, spiritual knowledge, detachment, all opulence and the eight great perfections [see 3.15: 45]. Decorated by the different weapons held up by His stout arms and surrounded by expansions like Vishvaksena and other representatives and eminent associates, He, for the benefit of all worlds, manifests His form on all sides of that greatest of all mountains. (41) For the duration of a kalpa the Supreme Lord assumes that appearance just to maintain the life in the different worlds that He evolved on the basis of His outer potency. (42) About the area beyond the [uninhabitable, dark] realm [of Aloka-varsha] which stretches outside of Lokâloka as far as the width of the area inside, one says that it is the destination for those who free from all contamination walk the path of the Lord of Yoga.
(43) In the center of the universe the suns are found situated between heaven and earth. That sunny globe in the middle consists of a quarter of a billion stars. (44) Because of having entered the lifeless form of this globe at its time of creation, he [Brahmâ] is known as Mârtanda ['the god of the suns']. The designation known as Hiranyagarbha ['the gold inside' or Brahmâ] came about because he received his body from that [golden splendor]. (45) Because of the sun god [Sûrya] we are able to differentiate between the directions, the ether, the planets above and the worlds below, as also tell the difference between all the heavenly abodes, the abodes for liberation and the hellish places such as Atala. (46) The sun god is the controller of all sorts of living beings, he is the life, soul and vision of the gods, the lower animals, the human beings and everything crawling and creeping.'